Comelec to solons: Decide on fate of October barangay, SK polls

MANILA-- Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesman James Jimenez on Wednesday urged lawmakers to decide on whether to postpone or proceed with the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election scheduled on October 23.

A bill filed in the Senate is seeking the postponement of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to October 2018.

On the other hand, there is also a pending bill at the House of Representatives that seeks to reset the Barangay and SK elections to May 2020.

Jimenez, however, clarified that Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista was only urging lawmakers to already decide on the fate of the barangay and youth polls this October.

"The Comelec is seeking the earliest possible resolution to the question of whether the elections will be allowed, by Congress, to proceed as scheduled or not," said Jimenez.

He stressed that the commission issuing such an appeal is only natural considering the proximity of the election day.

"The inescapable fact is that the Comelec is already on a trajectory that will lead to significant expenditures. It behooves the institution, therefore, to seek clarification from Congress," Jimenez noted.

Jimenez also clarified that the poll body is neither in favor nor opposed to the postponement of the said elections which is scheduled on October 23.

"The Comelec has consistently adopted a neutral stance in the debate on whether the BSKE should be postponeThe Comelec is not urging postponement of the 2017 Barangay and SK Elections," Jimenez said.

The poll official said this is consistent with their role as enforcer of prevailing election laws.

The Comelec issued the statement following comments made by ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio that it is inappropriate for the Comelec to urge the postponement of elections.

"If an election is scheduled, it will be held; if Congress decides, as several bills currently pending in the House would have it do, to change the schedule, then the Comelec will comply," pointed Jimenez.

Source: Philippines News Agency